It seems that the ghost of Gordon Campbell is still stalking the executive suite at BC Hydro. The decision by BC Hydro to install ‘smart’ meters seems like a real dumb move. It now appears that waiting for Energy Minister Rich Coleman to review their long-term capital spending plan is a waste of time.
Not surprising, as this was always on the cards and Coleman can add nothing to this process, as an ex-RCMP constable who has operated way above his pay grade for years.
We are being asked to believe that this move will pay for itself by 2030 (another ridiculous, far-out-on-the-horizon date favoured by politicians who will have long retired by then) by reducing electricity theft by illegal marijuana growers. And how do we know that this will save $100 million per year? – well, a consultant said so in 2006 (after BC Hydro had earlier said it was $12 million).
As an ex-consultant, I am deeply suspicious of any figures produced by this clan of high-paid charlatans: they will give you any number you wish. If you don’t like $12 million, how about $100 million?
Who knows? The joke is that marijuana might soon be legal in Canada and Hydro will be paid to help grow this stuff. In the meantime let’s fire nearly 400 meter-readers and save $10 million a year – that’s how big business usually improves its bottom line. Oh, and let’s not mention that these guys were just as capable of reading an electric meter outside your property as Hydro will from their head-office using these expensive $350 million ‘smart’ meters with most of that huge sum going to US companies.
Spotting the grow-ops must be really sophisticated software!
Smart business decision? No way. Smart politics? Ask Gordo.
This is a costly decision that should be deferred until after the next provincial election; let the voters decide if this makes sense to them.
Dr. H. Spencer, Aldergrove